The day began with Mark Seif atop the chip-leaderboard, bringing $91,225 to the table and leading such distinguished company as Perry Friedman, Erik Cajelais, Michael Mizrachi, Johan Storakers, Alan Sass, Steve Sung, Nam Le, Gavin Smith, Joe Sebok, Evelyn Ng and the one-and-only Steve Buckner.
Buckner would endear himself to none of those assembled on Day 2 by continuing his cigar-chomping, fist-pounding, hooting and hollering ways throughout the day, leading off with a miraculous (?) double-up with aces versus kings and then proving the PokerListings.com dictum that He Who Shouts "One Time" Whilst All-in Is a Fool by repeatedly begging for aces, kings, suck-outs and lollipops "one time, Cuz!" during a series of all-in encounters throughout the proceedings.
Eventually, the Man Who Muted the Mouth would find himself felted by Seif, whose pocket deuces held against Bucky's big slick and thus consigned your Cuz to the rail. Strangely, Buckner would not make as big a deal of his elimination as he had of the innumerable double-ups, pots-won, incredible lay-downs and, one presumes, breaths successfully taken, for which he'd congratulated himself earlier in the day.
Preceding Buckner to the rail by a matter of hours (and in some ways, probably thankful for it) was Mike Matusow, who had tangled with the Terrell Owens of poker earlier at the Bellagio Cup III in July. Matusow, short-stacked, hit the bricks about 10 minutes into the day when his A-Q failed to improve against Lou White's pocket kings.
Matusow would be quickly joined by PokerListings.com favorite Bill Edler, who stopped by the PL.com mobile headquarters to inform us he'd dropped with A-J against K-J and 10-10 when the board came K-4-2-Q-4. While the assembled media mourned his elimination, Wild Bill took the loss in stride, telling us "I had to take a bad beat at some point," before heading off to play a little golf.
The second level of the day would be the last for Bodog.com pro Evelyn Ng, who'd played short-stacked since the start of the day and finally gave up the ghost after getting all-in with pocket fours to Lou "The Assassin" White's A-Q. The board came J-8-3-7-Q and it was the cruel, cruel river that turned the final screw, consigning Ng to an afternoon at the beach and the cash tables while the rest of the field labored onward.
Also busticating in the early goings were Nenad Medic, Amnon Filippi, Fred Goldberg, Danny Wong (!), Jeff Williams and Sean McCabe, the last of whom got all-in with K-J on a jack-high flop but fell to Chris Smith's pocket aces when all was said and done. McCabe hit the rail midway through the third level and immediately disappeared, headed, some said, for the gun show.
In a battle of Rolex-wearing, unshaven and muscular men in baseball caps, Michael Mizrachi and Erik Cajelais got into a bit of a spat on Q♣ J♣ 2♥ flop that would see the Grinder get all-in with A♠ Q♥ to the French-Canadien's T♣ 9♣ for the open-ended straight flush draw. The turn would be a blank but the river the 4♣, and Mizrachi was dunzo while Cajelais (who had better win a tournament soon to justify the amount of favorable press this reporter bestows on him as The Next One) had jumped to the top of the leaderboard.
Joe Sebok would hit the rail just before dinner, courtesy Mark "God Mode" Seif, and after dinner would be joined by Bellagio floorman extraordinaire John Niezanski and Haralabos Voulgaris, who went out at the end of the fourth level, the victim of fellow Canadian Jim Worth. Worth's A-K won a race against Voulgaris's pocket queens and that left the tournament with barely 35 players remaining.
The final level would see five of those players rendered eliminato, including the aforementioned Buckner, as well as Perry Friedman, whose rivered set of fours inspired great awe in those of his tablemates who had forgotten that rival Jumphol Srinark had already flopped a set of kings. Friedman was out in 31st place, barely 22 spots from the money.
Friedman's elimination would be the last of the evening, with the remaining thirty players dismissed until tomorrow at 2 p.m. (EDT), when they will return to the tables to resume the epic battle. Organizers have decided to take Saturday off, so tomorrow will see all but six of the contestants eliminated, meaning plenty of action and plenty of bloodshed before all is said and done.
Chip leader at the end of the night is Rami Boukai, who musters $235,700 to top second-place Erik Cajelais' $208,100 stack. Chris Smith is third with $181,600 and Shipitholla Balla Alan Sass ($177,100) is fourth. Rounding out the final 30 are such poker luminaries as the aforementioned Storakers, Will "The Thrill" Failla (thankfully not in "Party Poker!!1" mode just yet), Steve Sung, Nam Le, Gavin Smith, Alan Cutler, God Mode and Jim Worth.
PokerListings.com will be back on scene tomorrow at the start of play and we will not leave until the final six have been established and the bar has been closed. Let us do the heavy lifting: enjoy our all-inclusive exclusive beachside coverage from the comfort of your office cubicle and stay tuned to the PL for everything your heart could desire and more. Until then, remember your sunscreen and watch out for the sand fleas!